The Canadian Elite Basketball League and U SPORTS announced a ground-breaking partnership on Tuesday.
The CEBL will allow teams to sign two top U SPORTS student-athletes after their University season is completed in March. The student-athletes will then be illegible to play during the CEBL season - which runs in the Summer from May to August.
An entry draft will be scheduled in March following the conclusion of the 2019 USports Men's Basketball Final 8.
"We are excited to partner with the CEBL and give our men's basketball student-athletes the chance to stay in Canada to pursue their dreams," said U SPORTS President and CEO Graham Brown said in a press release.
"We are happy to see the sport of basketball grow at home following Canada's recent qualification for the FIBA World Cup and help create a bright future for the sport across the country."
Each team will have two developmental contracts that they can offer. When they're at home, the developmental players must be dressed, but the team isn't required to play them. On the road, teams aren't required to dress or bring their developmental players with them.
Practices and training sessions are where most developmental players will find the opportunity to refine skills with a pro team, but also the chance of earning a spot in the rotation.
This partnership falls in line with what the CEBL has been preaching from the beginning, not only growing the game in Canada but creating an infrastructure for Canadians to continue to maximize their potential.
"A partnership between the CEBL and U SPORTS bodes well for the development of basketball in Canada," Glen Grunwald, CEO and President of Canada Basketball added in the press release.
"This opens up a unique opportunity for student-athletes to develop their talents right here in their home country and that's a sign of a very exciting time for the sport".
Details around whether or not the student-athletes will keep their eligibility to return to school once drafted into the CEBL are a work in progress the league confirmed to NBA.com. As is whether or not the draftees will be compensated and how much that will be.
Eligibility, compensation and more should be announced by the league ahead of the draft in March.
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